Bent Facts- Politifact Sleight of Hand

PolitiFact ( claims, “Our only agenda is to publish the truth”. Yet the actual facts indicate quite the contrary. PolitiFact’s true agenda appears to be geared to protecting liberal politicians by downplaying (or ignoring) their corrupt words and deeds- while concurrently hammering conservatives for their statements.

PolitiFact accomplishes this largely through the biased application of its rating system, which includes categories of “True”, “Half True”, “Half-False”, “False” and “Pants on Fire”. However, PolitiFact frequently pulls another tool from its rating shed- no rating at all, which is a de facto “True” rating. It’s not unusual for PolitiFact to ignore statements that other fact-checking organizations label as false.

A few examples of PolitiFact’s bias include its coverage of Joe Biden’s unauthorized possession of classified materials. Rather than an examination of the Biden case, PolitiFact’s “fact check” took the form of a comparison of Donald Trump’s and Joe Biden’s possession of classified documents. Biden’s case was excused as an “oops, I didn’t know I had them” faux pas; Trump was blasted for possession of classified materials and not cooperating with investigators.

Nowhere did PolitiFact mention that it took approximately 60 days before Biden’s possession of classified documents was made public. Nowhere did PolitiFact note that revealing Biden’s illegal possession of classified materials was conveniently delayed until well after the November, 2022 mid-term elections. Nowhere was there mention of the fact that Trump had declassified a host of documents. In fact, Trump’s case has absolutely no direct bearing on Biden’s, but it is a useful tool to vilify Trump while making Biden’s actions seem less illegal.

The PolitiFact comparison of Trump and Biden both being private citizens and having possession of classified documents does surprisingly label both cases as violations of federal law. The report quotes Bradley Moss, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who works on national security cases as saying, “Both Mr. Trump and President Biden had documents with classification markings stored in unauthorized locations while they were private citizens. That is impermissible and a violation of federal law.”

But the “fact check” then goes on to paint Biden as an innocent (hapless would be more appropriate) bystander who was simply unaware that as a private citizen, he was illegally in possession of classified documents. Although “ignorance of the law” is universally dismissed as justification for violating a law, PolitiFact proffers the opinion that Biden should be excused for violating federal law because he was simply unaware that he illegally possessed classified documents.

Additional evidence of PolitiFact’s efforts to portray Biden as innocent of violating federal law is an additional quote from Moss which states, “The Biden team and the Trump team approached this in completely different ways,” Moss said. “The Biden team did what is supposed to be done, namely immediately notifying the government of the issue after locating the documents and returning them to government control. As far as we know from the media reporting, the Biden team has been cooperative with the inquiry.”

Following the rationale of PolitiFact reporters to a logical conclusion, anyone committing a crime of any type should not be prosecuted they claim ignorance of the crime, and their attorneys are cooperative. However, PolitiFact’s position is undoubtedly that only a left-leaning politician should be able to successfully invoke the “Oops, I didn’t know” defense.

Assuming that Biden was truly unaware that classified documents were illegally stored in a Washington, DC office and at his home in Delaware (that’s not an unreasonable assumption considering Biden’s lack of awareness of most things) it would appear that Biden and his team, and one or more government agencies are guilty of a cover-up, as they purposely kept the information under wraps until after the mid-term elections. Of course, PolitiFact makes no mention of that aspect of the case.

Ignoring statements that truly deserve investigation is a tactic PolitiFact frequently uses. An example of that tactic is demonstrated by The Washington Post, of all publications. Like PolitiFact, The Post unquestionably leans to the left, but its fact checkers are not above awarding Biden and other Democrats three of four “Pinocchios” when they come across false statements. There are numerous incidents of PolitiFact ignoring a Biden statement that earned 4 Pinocchios from The Post.

On May 30, 2022, a Biden opinion piece published by The Wall Street Journal contained the statement, “A dozen CEOs of America’s largest utility companies told me earlier this year that my plan would reduce the average family’s annual utility bills by $500 and accelerate our transition from energy produced by autocrats.”

The Post awarded this statement four Pinocchios, ( the equivalent of PolitiFact’s “Pants on Fire” rating. Yet, not a word from PolitiFact.

PolitiFact is obviously not the only publication or web site with a leftist bias. However, it is unique in its continual claims to be a seeker and dispenser of truth. If any media company should be awarded a “Pants On Fire” rating, it’s Politifact.

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